Bittersweet

Bittersweet

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” ~ Closing Time by Semisonic

Bittersweet… that is how I am feeling writing this blog as I am writing about an ending, and endings often have a bitter component (this one definitely does), and sweet because I am writing about listening to and trusting my inner knowing and that absolutely feels sweet.

About 18 months ago I started feeling the nudge to move on from my leadership role with Wholistic Woman Retreats.  There was no specific reason other than that I was craving simplicity in my life and honestly, I didn’t trust the nudge.  The overwhelming thought when the feeling first came in was WHY?  Why would I walk away from something that was having such a positive impact not only on my life but also on the lives of so many amazing women?  So I did what I believe a lot of us do when we don’t understand our feelings… I pushed it down and ignored it.

(Side note:  This is not something I recommend!  Ask my children… ask my coaching clients… They will tell you that they’ve heard me say on more than one occasion that feelings are meant to be felt.)

Shortly after that, Wholistic Woman started seriously discussing turning the dream of holding a destination retreat in Sedona into a reality and the feeling morphed into a voice in my head that said “Finish what you started.” To me, this meant that I was supposed to see the destination retreat come to fruition and I was supposed to stay to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the organization.  My inner knowing told me that 2020 was going to be the year I finished what I started.

So here we are…2020 is coming to an end, something I am certain we are all excited about, as none of us could have predicted the insanity and uncertainty that this year has held.  We, as an organization, moved from monthly in-person coaching events to a virtual platform… We celebrated the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote with a virtual retreat that supported the programming of Frederick’s Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business group… We took 20 women to Sedona, Arizona where we held an in-person retreat while following CDC guidelines regarding Covid-19 and are happy to report that everyone stayed healthy… And, we closed the year with both an in-person brunch for people who felt comfortable gathering socially as well as a virtual event for those that didn’t with our annual gratitude celebration which this year included celebrating 10 Years of Wholistic Woman Retreats!  For me, this absolutely feels like finishing what I started.

So, I am listening to the call on my heart and will be stepping away from leadership with Wholistic Woman Retreats.  This choice is about saying yes to an inner knowing.  I am creating space… space for whatever is next… space for something that I can’t even envision right now… space to let Divine Intervention step in and show me what is next for me.  I am trusting the nudge!

I am in no rush to fill the void that will follow this decision.  If there is one thing that 2020, the year of Covid-19 and it’s stay at home mandates, has shown me, it is that I enjoy space, downtime, and simplicity.  Therefore, I am inviting the bitterness I feel around saying goodbye to the active role I’ve held for the last 10 years here with Wholistic Woman Retreats while at the same time experiencing the sweetness of anticipation of the unknown future.  In this season of gratitude, love, and giving, this decision feels like an unopened gift… a bittersweet gift.

To all you beautiful women who have trusted me to support you in your personal and professional growth, I want to say ‘Thank you’!  It has been an honor to witness your fear, your uncertainty, your tenacity, your bravery and your strength.  Thank you for doing your work!  Your growth helps heal the world.  You bring light and love where there is darkness and fear.  There is no job bigger than that.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

To the Wholistic team, thank you for supporting me in my growth as a coach and leader.  You have witnessed my fear, uncertainty, tenacity, bravery, and strength.  You know me deeply and I have never felt anything but love and support from you.  You are the reason this decision is so hard for me to make.  I love you all.  It has been the privilege of a lifetime to work alongside you.  I will always be your biggest supporter.

The beauty is, geographically, I’m not going anywhere.  I will still be here and I look forward to continuing to witness the sweetness of the work you all will continue to do.

10 years ago, Wholistic Woman Retreats was a new beginning for me and this year that beginning is coming to an end… I wonder what new beginning will come from that beginning’s end!?!

Team Coaching vs Group Coaching: Is There a Difference?

Team Coaching vs Group Coaching: Is There a Difference?

Have you heard of group coaching? (Or, are you interested in learning more about group coaching?) If so, you might be wondering what the difference is between group coaching and team coaching. There are many similarities between the two. Both types of coaching involve a facilitator working with a set of individuals. In both cases, individuals are looking to grow professionally through increasing leadership skills, learning ways to effectively communicate, and more. 

But, there is a key difference between group coaching and team coaching. First, let’s define what each type of coaching entails.

What is Group Coaching?

In a group coaching setting, people who have a common interest gather together to work on individual goals. Each person has the opportunity to share his or her goals, and is held accountable by other members of the group. While a facilitator guides the conversation, members of the group are encouraged to share their perspectives and experiences. Thus, peer learning is accomplished.

Benefits of Group Coaching

Group Discussion

Do you ever feel stuck? You might be approaching your issue from the wrong angle or mindset. Group coaching provides a platform for each individual person to receive input from the rest of the group. Plus, you might be an expert on a subject that another individual needs help with!

Accountability

Never underestimate the power of accountability! With group coaching, both the facilitator and fellow group members will check in to see how you’re moving forward towards meeting your goals. While you will note your progress at each meeting, you also have the opportunity to create check-ins outside of the structured group meeting. That brings me to…

Mutually beneficial relationships

You might find yourself in a group with another person who has a similar goal to yours. You could be in a similar line of business. Regardless of the reason why, you’ll likely find yourself connecting with one or more members of your group. If this happens, look for ways to meet up outside of the group coaching setting. 

What is Team Coaching?

Like group coaching, team coaching involves increasing the professional development skills of participants involved. However, instead of working on individual goals, participants work together to set goals and make decisions. This is a great option for workplace teams who have undergone a change in leadership or who are still getting to know one another. In a team coaching setting, each person’s individual skill set is seen as a valuable and vital part of the team’s success. 

Which Type of Coaching is Right For Me?

Are you looking to meet goals you’ve established for yourself as an individual? Would you like to receive input and accountability from other people? If so, give group coaching a try.

Are you part of a team of coworkers or managers who would benefit from establishing shared goals? The success of team coaching is based on each person working together.

Still not sure if group coaching is right for you? We’d love to help!

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Our next group coaching session will discuss how strengths and money relate to one another. Financial Coach Jane Helm and Executive Coach Carol deLaski will lead a small group of women in exploring and applying two powerful tools, Money Personality and Strengths Finder. Learn more and register here!

Connectedness

Connectedness

“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.” ~ Brené Brown

Yes!!!  This!!!  Connectedness!!!  I need this, you need this, the world needs this!!!  

Just imagine a world where we all felt connected to ourselves and to others.  Really… pause for a moment and imagine how your life and the world would be if we all had a deep sense of love and belonging.  Can you picture it!?!  What do you see?

What I see is a world where people feel safe to say that they are afraid and need help. What I see is a world where interdependence is everywhere and no one feels alone.  What I see is a world where we meet people where they are without needing them to be different.  What I see is a world where we know and understand that our differences are what bring beauty and color and variety to life, and more than tolerate differences, we embrace them.  Yes, you may say I’m a dreamer, but that is what I see.

One of the things I absolutely love about the Wholistic Woman Retreats Community is that we strive to create a safe space where you will feel connected.  We hold monthly events and encourage membership in our community in hopes that the women who come on a regular basis will get to know one another and will feel like they belong.  

Emma Seppälä, Ph.D, Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and the author of The Happiness Track (HarperOne, 2016)  notes one landmark study that showed that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.  Who knew!?!

She goes on to report that research around strong social connection shows that it:

  • leads to a 50% increased chance of longevity
  • strengthens your immune system
  • helps you recover from disease faster
  • lowers levels of anxiety and depression

Moreover, studies also show that people who feel connected to others have higher self-esteem, greater empathy for others, are more trusting and cooperative and, as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them. In other words, social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being.

If you are a woman in the Frederick Area and are looking for more connectedness, we might be exactly what you are looking for.  Check out this impromptu video I made about our upcoming August 2019 event being held in partnership with The Frederick County Chamber of Commerce’s  Women in Business Committee…

Click Here to watch the video

Here are the 2 links you will need if you are interested in joining us for this event:

In the meantime, there are lots of ways you can connect with us so please spend some time perusing our website if you’d like more information 🙂

And please, share your thoughts with us!  We love learning from you!  

Wholeheartedly,

~ Laura  

Today’s author: Laura Hall, CPC, CDWF: As a certified professional coach since 2009, Laura Hall, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator has been helping people just like you make changes in both their personal and professional lives.  Laura can be reached via email at laurahallcoach@me.com or feel free to visit her website HallCoaching.com

Packing List for Life’s Journey

Packing List for Life’s Journey

Packing List for Life’s Journey

I’ve always resonated with the idea of life being a journey.  A journey is defined as an act of traveling from one place to another.  I see life as a journey across time.  Over time, I’ve been able to experience different aspects of myself and the world in which I live.  It’s been quite a journey and the exciting part is that there is so much to discover and uncover about myself still ahead of me.

Every seasoned traveler knows that packing appropriately can make a big difference to your experience.  If you forget to pack your gloves on your ski trip, you are either going to need to buy some or you are going to be pretty miserable.

This got me thinking about a packing list for life’s journey.  This packing list is modeled after the 10 guideposts to wholehearted living found in the book The Gifts of Imperfection by Dr. Brené Brown.  I hope you find it as helpful as I have 🙂

  1. Bring authenticity – Be truly yourself, practice being vulnerable. Let yourself really be seen. Leave behind the masks and armor you have accumulated over the years. They will just weigh your life down.
  2. Bring compassion, both for yourself and those you encounter on your journey, leave behind perfectionism…there is no such thing as a perfect life, only perfectly imperfect ones.
  3. Bring a resilient spirit…when you find yourself in an unexpected rain storm, believe that you have what it takes to make it through. Seek the shelter of help if needed. Leave behind numbing and powerlessness as those behaviors and thoughts can leave you feeling lost and hopeless.
  4. Bring gratitude and joy…look for the good in life. Speak words of appreciation to yourself and others on a daily basis.  Leave behind scarcity and fear of the dark…you are worthy of love and belonging.  You are enough.  Remember that!
  5. Bring intuition and faith, leave behind the need for certainty…You are never going to be able to predict all the unexpected surprises that you will undoubtedly encounter along the way. Trust that divine intervention is with you always, guiding you even when you don’t realize it.
  6. Bring creativity – the life you design together will be uniquely yours. Leave behind comparison…Instead of comparing your life to others’, ask the question, “Is this working for me?”  If the answer is yes…great.  If the answer is no…be creative and try something different.
  7. Bring along play and rest while leaving behind exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth …Do things that rejuvenate you and refills your tank. When you are tired, rest.  Remember, it doesn’t matter how fast you go.  Enjoy the moments and go at your own pace.
  8. Bring calm and stillness, leave behind anxiety as a lifestyle…some of the most memorable experiences will be those born out of not having an agenda. They will come in the quiet stillness of just looking up at the stars.  Anxiety will undoubtedly show up at different times during your journey, learn from it and move on, but please don’t pack it.
  9. Bring meaningful work…something that leaves you feeling accomplished and feeling like your life has purpose. This may or may not be what we do for employment.  Do not pack self-doubt and “supposed to’s”…practice trusting yourself and learning to say no to things that are not moving you toward your best self and your best life.
  10. Bring laughter, song and dance, and leave behind being cool and always in control. Please pack your sense of humor and a willingness to be silly and not take yourself too seriously while leaving behind a need to always be right.

This packing list is something I need to revisit on a regular basis.  I hope you find it as useful as I have as you navigate your way through life. Is there anything else that you think is important to pack or to leave home?  I’d love to read what you have to say!

 

Today’s author: Laura Hall, CPC, CDWF: As a certified professional coach since 2009, Laura Hall, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator has been helping people just like you make changes in. As a mother of 2 girls, Laura has a special interest in coaching parents, so if you still have children living at home, ask Laura about her Wholehearted Parenting programs. Laura can be reached via email at laurahallcoach@me.com or feel free to visit her website HallCoaching.com

Announcing Group Coaching!

Announcing Group Coaching!

Announcing Group Coaching!

Like you, Wholistic Woman Retreats is an organization that is constantly evolving.  We are an organization on the grow!

When we began in 2010 we offered full day retreats designed to support women with their personal and professional development. After facilitating a few of these retreats, we heard from our community that they wanted more frequent opportunities to connect, so we launched the monthly ‘Be You’ Evening Retreats.  The intention was to create a space for like-minded women in and around the Frederick, MD area to gather on a regular basis. At these enriching programs women take a break from the busyness of life to focus on their own development while connecting with other women-on-the-grow.  These monthly retreats have been a big hit and over the years we’ve had the pleasure of watching our community expand as we support one another.

Our leadership team makes a point to listen to all suggestions that come our way. Recently, we’ve heard that many of you who love and support us as an organization are looking for something a little deeper than a 90-minute evening retreat.  While you love the take-aways of the ‘Be You’ programs, you often leave wanting more!  We think this is awesome, and WE HEAR YOU!  It appears to be time for us to GROW AGAIN!

We are happy to announce that our answer to the desire to go deeper is GROUP COACHING!

Some of you may be familiar with the concept of group coaching and others not, so I’d like to describe how it can provide you with an opportunity for more growth.

Group coaching, by definition, is exactly what is sounds like… it is a coach-facilitated group that meets on a regular basis to explore an area of common interest.  Groups can be done in a variety of ways… in-person or virtually (via audio and/or video calls).  The frequency that a group meets also varies… weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly are typical intervals.

I personally have been both a participant, as well as a coach, in a wide variety of coaching groups and here are some of the reasons I love group coaching – and think you will too!

  • COLLECTIVE WISDOM – In every group I have been a part of, I have been amazed at how wise women are! There is something magical that happens when we gather in a safe space to share what we know, as well as to ask for guidance in areas where we want to grow. Whether, I’ve been in the role of participant or leader, I have learned something new from every group I’ve experienced.
  • CONNECTION – One of the cornerstones of group coaching is trust and connection. In group coaching settings confidentiality is key and is taken extremely seriously. For the connections to be meaningful, it is vital that all participants feel safe to share. Coaches work diligently to create a safe, non-judgmental, space within a coaching group.  Groups work as a unit.  All participants go through the work together from start to finish.  This cohesiveness builds bonds between people.  By the end of your time together as a group you build deep, meaningful connections with your fellow participants.
  • MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES – Oftentimes we get stuck because we don’t know what we don’t know. Group coaching brings people with different perspectives together and this often leads to “Ah-ha” moments and intriguing discussions.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY – If you are like me, then you know how powerful making a commitment to a group of people can be. I have found that there is something transformational that happens when I declare a goal publicly. I have always had better success and follow-through with goals I set during my group coaching work than when I go it alone.
  • AFFORDABILITY – One of the practical aspects of group coaching is that it is less expensive than 1:1 coaching. While it is a shared learning and growing environment it doesn’t mean that everyone is working on the same goals. In fact, you will be setting your unique goals just like you would in a 1:1 coaching experience. You will receive individual attention within the group community.
  • IT’S MORE FUN! – Group coaching sessions are something that most participants look forward to. It is fun to get together with other people who are in similar situations or who are creating forward momentum in their careers and lives.

While these benefits are great, the main reason we are offering group coaching is to explore and apply topics in greater depth than we can in one night. Imagine what it would be like to put Wholistic Woman tools and strategies into practice and refine them over 2-3 months with an experienced coach and a group of supportive women. How awesome would that be?!

 

 

Today’s author: Laura Hall, CPC, CDWF: As a certified professional coach since 2009, Laura Hall, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator has been helping people just like you make changes in. As a mother of 2 girls, Laura has a special interest in coaching parents, so if you still have children living at home, ask Laura about her Wholehearted Parenting programs. Laura can be reached via email at laurahallcoach@me.com or feel free to visit her website HallCoaching.com

What’s Your Love Language?

What’s Your Love Language?

What’s Your Love Language?

What’s your love language? What fills your cup and makes you feel loved? Coaches Carol, Laura, and Kelye explore the five love languages and how to use them personally and professionally in this ninth podcast episode. Play in your browser with the media player below or click “WWR Coaches Discuss Love Languages”.

WWR Coaches Discuss Love Languages